Battling Office Bullies
By Courtney Sherwood – Columbian Business & Features Editor
Sunday, August 29, 2010
The anguish strained his voice as he described the past five years. He used to love this job. Then the new boss came along.
Each incident, on its own, would have been bearable — his office rearranged when he stepped out, the strange looks, rude comments, weird notes.
“I tried to ignore it,” the man said. He successfully sought a new supervisor, changed his work routines to avoid his tormenter. But after 20 years with the same Vancouver employer, he’s looking for a new job. “I don’t want to quit,” he said. “I’m at my wit’s end.”
I agreed not to name this man because he’s afraid of retaliation. “I try to solve it but I can’t. I’ve been professional, stayed away from her, but I don’t know what to do.”
Most employers condemn sexual harassment, racial taunts and mistreatment of people who are members of legally protected groups — if not out of decency, then to protect themselves from lawsuits.